Of Mice and Men- Crooks' Relationships controlled assessment.

Authors Avatar by harrypotter96hotmailcouk (student)

Of Mice and Men-  Crooks controlled assessment.

There are a variety of ways in which Steinbeck presents the relationships between Crooks and characters like the white men on the ranch: the white world through Candy's perspective, Slim, Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and George. Through these complicated relationships, Steinbeck constantly endows us with insight into themes such as: friendship, loneliness, the American Dream, the unpredictability of life and most significantly- racism; all being major themes in the lives of ranch men. These unhealthy bonds between Crooks and the characters are induced by the Great Depression in 1930s, which is the origin of racial factors such as the legacy of slavery which affected the American society and marginalised black people as well as women, mentally stunted people and the older generation. In addition, Crook's relationship with these characters presents the reader with doubt as to whether he is a typical stereotyped 'black victim' or a more complex- three dimensional individual with motives, aspirations, and desires like all men.

Steinbeck presents Crooks and his relationship with the white world from Candy's perspective in a very unusual way. At first, Crooks is portrayed as an outsider as he is referred to as a 'stable buck' and a 'nigger' several times throughout the conversation between Candy and George. These extremely derogatory terms used against him highlight the fact that black people have no place in the 'white' society and that they are highly discriminated against and segregated purely due to their colour, depicting that he is viewed at an animalistic level rather than a human level. In addition, the fact that Crooks is referred to by his job: 'Stable buck' rather than his name implies that he is a servant and of no further significance as a person to the ranch men; rather he is visualised as a non-existent which implies that he is no different to an animal, so he must work and live in a stable with animals: 'his own kind'. Furthermore, this idea is reinforced through Candy's apathetic remark: 'ya see the stable buck's a nigger' followed by George's careless response: 'nigger huh' which illustrates the normality of racism within the white society. However, Steinbeck juxtaposes 'stable buck' and 'nigger' with a more pleasant comment from Candy: 'nice fella' which is repeated three times to convey the idea that although racism is rife, the ranch men have no feelings of pure loathing or hostility towards Crooks; they simply disregard him as this is a socially acceptable thing to do. Moreover, Candy's ability to reveal Crooks through several perspectives portrays him as a non biased narrator which makes his views trustworthy. In reference to Crook's room, Steinbeck constantly uses adjectives like 'little', 'square' and 'narrow' to create a cage-like atmosphere, revealing that he is imprisoned by the white society and he is 'latched in' so there is no escape whatsoever for him. These adjectives also describe the compact and empty life he leads, and the minimal rights he has. However, the fact that his house 'leaned off' the wall of the barn deploys his sense of detachment from the ranch and his subliminal hope of possibly breaking free from all the isolation one day.

Join now!

On the other hand, Slim's relationship with Crooks exhibits a number of crucial aspects such as the fact that he uses Crook's name when mentioning or conversing with him: 'sure, Crooks'. This indicates that Slim, unlike the rest of the ranch men,  possesses morals which prevent him from abusing Crooks in the same manner as them. This is due to the merciful and benevolent character which Slim is reputable for in the ranch.  Steinbeck displays Crooks' attitude towards Slim as respectful but servile due to the formal way in which Crooks addresses him: 'Mr Slim'. However, Crook's formal manner towards ...

This is a preview of the whole essay